The Life of a Fracture: Biologic Progression, Healing Gone Awry, and Evaluation of Union

JBJS Rev. 2020 Aug;8(8):e1900221. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.RVW.19.00221.


New knowledge about the molecular biology of fracture-healing provides opportunities for intervention and reduction of risk for specific phases that are affected by disease and medications. Modifiable and nonmodifiable risk factors can prolong healing, and the informed clinician should optimize each patient to provide the best chance for union. Techniques to monitor progression of fracture-healing have not changed substantially over time; new objective modalities are needed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Fracture Healing*
  • Fractures, Ununited / diagnosis
  • Fractures, Ununited / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Osteogenesis*
  • Risk Factors